Originally Posted by Stewie
I read this about a week ago. The next day they wrote an article about the link between Vitamin E deficiency and Alzheimer's.
Whether taking a multi-vitamin is necessary or not for healthy people is debatable, but there are known problems with a lack of certain vitamins. It's especially notable in the elderly and the young due to diets and food intake. We know the consequences of Vitamins A, C, D and E deficiencies. A normal multi-vitamin (sans ridiculous doses) costs about four cents per day. That's not unreasonable for someone that eats very little (elderly) or has a poor diet.
Well.. the the article makes a pretty strong case that those vitamin and supplement pills were ineffective for primary prevention in community-dwelling adults with no nutritional deficiencies
. The cost wasn't the issue, it was the fact that there were no benefits for the majority of people.
I've read the Vitamin E/Alzheimers link as well, and it's not as simple as what you allude to. In that study, the link they found was from very high doses of VitE. Much more than what you'd find in a retail supplement. It was borderline dangerous intakes of VitE, which medicine has already shown, can have damaging effects
. The scientists doing the VitE/Alzheimers experiment even cautioned against the interpretation of the results:
No one should rush out and buy vitamin E, several doctors warned. It failed to prevent healthy people from developing dementia or to help those with mild impairment ("pre-Alzheimer's") in other studies, and one suggested it might even be harmful.
In addition, they noted that taking VitE wouldn't prevent Alzheimers, it simply slowed it a bit. And if they took any other Alzheimers medication as well, they got no benefit from the VitE.
Vitamin deficiencies should be addressed using food. Not pills. That was an important point of the supplement article. Pills are a terrible intake method, and it's proven not to work in the overwhelming majority of cases. That doesn't mean they're completely worthless. Just that they're worthless for the majority of people that take them.